Its March, scientistas, and that can only mean one thing -- midterms!! Feeling like you're in an academic rut? Make these 6 changes this week to instantly turn your STEM education around!
1. Sit in the front of the class
Many students shy away from the front of the room for many reasons. Perhaps you are afraid to be called on, or want to doze off or go on Facebook. By sitting in the front of the class, you stay more alert, hear and see the lesson better, and increase your chances of being noticed by the professor.
2. Get 7 hours of sleep
We all know the drill – you vow that you’re getting to bed by 12 am and before you know it, it’s 3 am. By now there is enough research to say without a doubt that a rested mind is a better learning mind. And on top of that, studies have shown that you actually consolidate memories while you sleep! This week, do whatever it takes to get 7 hours of sleep every night. So if you have a 10 am class, be sure to hit the hay by 1:30 am. You’ll feel the results instantly.
3. Don’t cut!
I can’t stress this one enough – even if you are behind, or didn’t do the readings (and yes, even if your lecture is video-taped) GO TO EVERY CLASS! By going to class, you’ll hear all of the information once for the first time, so that when you’re reviewing, it will be just that – a review. Attending class will also ensure that you don’ t miss any important class announcements or inside tips professors love to give about
4. Review your notes
After every class this week, take 5 – 15 minutes to look over your notes. This will help you to consolidate some of the major points in your memory. It may not seem like a big step, but rehearsing this information just once will help you put those facts into your long term memory.
5. Do the readings – in advance
STEM classes are filled with complex concepts, which take some time to sink in. This is why it is extremely valuable to actually take the time to look at the reading material assigned before class. If you don’t have time to do a thorough reading, skim over the content for major terms, formulas, and overarching concepts that will be discussed in class. Behind in your readings and don't know where to start? Instead of trying to back-track, prioritize your reading for the next day. By doing so, you will be able to follow along better in class.
6. Ask a question
This week, scientistas, aim to ask at least one question during lecture, section, or office hours. The process of formulating a question requires a more in depth analysis of the material you are reading, which will help you gain a deeper understanding of the material. Asking a question will get you speaking up in class, which is an area that women in STEM are generally weaker in. Furthermore, by asking a professor or teaching fellow questions, you will develop a relationship which will aid you when it comes time to ask for recommendations.